It’s Sunday morning and you’re staring at your computer screen, analyzing your upcoming matchup. It looks like you and your opponent are fairly evenly matched and yet you grin, knowing you have a slight edge — his entire team is playing at 1 p.m. He might be ahead of you by the end of the first slate of games, but it doesn’t matter — for you have studs lurking in the Monday night shadows.
It’s called “The Prime-time Placebo” — the belief that having good players on Sunday or Monday night gives you a slight edge because you always have a chance to mount a comeback towards the end of the fantasy week.
Many of us look at our players’ schedules as soon as our teams are drafted, wanting to know how many opportunities we’ll have to win it at the buzzer. Some of the crazier ones (or possibly just me) even consider the number of prime-time games each player has when trying to decide between two at the draft, all other things being equal.
A thinking man obviously knows that having a guy play in a prime-time game lends no actual advantage whatsoever. But who is that thinking man to tell us not to dream? We like thinking that our prime-time players will be our saviors, and we will continue to put our fantasy hopes on their backs.
With that in mind, here is your All-Placebo team for Week 4 — the players who can win you the week with a prime-time miracle:
QB: Drew Brees
Brees plays at home on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins. Miami has a solid defense but it’s slightly hobbled at the moment, and does it matter anyway? Aside from Peyton Manning, you couldn’t ask for a better QB to lead your comeback.
RB: Lamar Miller
Miller remains in an unfortunate timeshare with fellow RB Daniel Thomas, which is stunting his fantasy potential. The New Orleans Saints‘ defense is also significantly better than it was last year, but mainly against the pass. They can still give up chunks of yards to running backs, and Miller is a legit home run threat. If he finds a gap, he’ll be off to the races.
WR: Julio Jones
Jones has been absolutely unstoppable so far, currently pacing all receivers in receptions and receiving yards with 27 for 373 to go along with two touchdowns. He’ll face the New England Patriots at home on Sunday night and although they’ve been good against the pass so far, they haven’t actually faced any serious vertical threats. Enter Jones …
TE: Jimmy Graham
Like Jones, Graham is pacing his own position in receptions and yardage. He’s got 23 for 358 so far, and there’s not really any point in trying to cover him in the red zone as he already has four touchdowns. Miami is getting owned weekly by tight ends, and Graham is the best in the game. I’ll let you do the math on that one.
K: Stephen Gostkowski
Gostkowski has benefited so far from the Patriots’ offense stalling at times. With Danny Amendola unlikely to return this week and Rob Gronkowski possibly being eased in if he even suits up, the offense may continue to struggle, leading to more golden kicking opportunities.
I’ve left out a defense because none of the four playing in the prime-time games have a particularly favorable matchup. If you own one or more of these players, rest easy knowing that your matchup isn’t over until they say it’s over. #PrimetimePlacebo